Now that Blu-ray is clearly the one format to rule them all, makers are throwing themselves into building bigger and better machines with almost reckless abandon.

The latest next-generation BD player from Sony Japan is due to hit the shops there in about three weeks and promises far more in the way of features than anything we've yet seen from camp Blu-ray.

The BDZ-A70 sports a shiny new button marked 'One Touch' that takes TV shows pre-selected via an EPG and recorded on the quiet and dumps them all onto a docked video Walkman or PSP.

48 hours per disk

Forking out over ¥170,000 (£835) for the A70 also brings a 320GB hard drive and Blu-ray recorder, as you might expect. The drive can hold up to 315 hours of high-definition broadcasts, while compressing shows to the max squeezes just over 48 hours of low-def material on a dual layer BD.

Getting back to the more exotic portability features, there are options for how well done you like your video. Although the resolution is fixed at QVGA 320 x 240 pixels, the bit rate can be either 384Kbps or 786Kbps.

Time saver

Aside from a marginal quality difference, the lower bit rate is quicker to copy for those in a rush - an hour of programming takes about two minutes to make its way onto a PSP's Memory Stick, which is a full minute saved over the full-fat encoding.

There are a staggering amount of high-end features that we won't go into here, as - needless to say - the A70 will be available only in Japan, but we can recommend the demo video on Sony's press release page. It's in Japanese, but it warms the cockles to see something so exotic - yes, an uncrowded commuter train.